M.D., Member of the Scientific Board
Avinash G. Patwardhan
Ph.D, Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehab Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Member of the Scientific Board
Dr. Eric Morgan
Member of the Advisory BOD
Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D.
Member of the Scientific Advisory BOD
Kristen Willeumier, PhD, is a neuroscientist with extensive knowledge on how the brain is affected by health, nutrition, and the impact of concussions. Dr. Willeumier served as the Director of Research for the Amen Clinics from 2009-2016 advancing the research mission of exploring how brain SPECT imaging can transform clinical practice. During this tenure, she authored and co-authored 44 scientific manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. Areas of published research include traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, autism, biomarkers of suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function, clinical outcomes, and brain rehabilitation. While at the Amen Clinic, Kristen led her colleagues through a clinical research trial investigating the long-term effects of repetitive subconcussive impacts in NFL football players. Subsequent work focused on therapeutic approaches to rehabilitate brain function in athletes. More recently, Discover Magazine acknowledged her published research finding that neuroimaging can accurately distinguish traumatic brain injury from posttraumatic stress disorder in both a veteran population and a large clinical cohort as one of the top 100 scientific breakthroughs of 2015, ranked at #19. The current emphasis of Dr. Willeumier’s work is in investigating biomarkers for treatment of psychiatric disorders using machine learning applications.
Dr. Willeumier conducted her graduate research in the laboratory of Neurophysiology under the direction of Felix Schweitzer at the University of California, Los Angeles and the laboratory of Neurogenetics under the direction of Stefan Pulst at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center using live cell imaging to investigate mechanisms of synaptic signaling in Parkinson’s disease. She received MS degrees in physiological science and neurobiology, and a PhD degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she continued her work in the field of neurodegenerative disease. She was the recipient of the prestigious NIH fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease presenting her work at national and international scientific meetings including the Society for Neuroscience, Gordon Conference, and the World Brain Mapping Conference.